The Journal reported that President Trump’s long-time lawyer, Michael Cohen, arranged the payment just one month before the 2016 presidential election. It was made “as part of an agreement that precluded her from publicly discussing an alleged sexual encounter with Mr. Trump.”
Cohen denied the report. “These rumors have circulated time and again since 2011,” he said in a statement to The Daily Beast. “President Trump once again vehemently denies any such occurrence as has Ms. Daniels.”
He also provided a letter, allegedly signed by Daniels, which denied any sexual or romantic relationship with Donald Trump. Cohen did not directly address the payment itself.
Cohen also acknowledged Trump and Daniels have been in headlines together since 2011, when a site called The Dirty published claims they had been together while Melania Trump was pregnant with the president’s youngest son, Barron. The post was based on an anonymous tip.
“Donald Trump is the scum of the earth!” it read. “Not only did he break up my friend’s marriage, but he also cheated on Melania Trump as she was pregnant with his child. My friend had sex with Donald after one of his golfing events and he lured her to multiple hotels (sic) rooms after that. My friend wants to speak with you directly because she is in fear that Donald Trump will ruin her life more than he already has.”
Daniels herself sued The Dirty, accusing the writer of “unauthorized use” of her “name and celebrity.” The Dirty is most famous for breaking the sex scandal of New York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner.
Three more sources corroborated the Trump-Daniels affair, the Daily Beast reports, including Daniels’ neighbor and adult actress Alana Evans. Evans claims to have been at the event where Trump met Daniels — the American Century Celebrity Golf Championship in July 2006. Evans said that Daniels and Trump invited her to “join them” multiple times, with clear implications about what was going on between them.
Daniels and Trump have also been photographed together many times over the years, in places and at events which support the narrative of their secret affair. The White House and the president’s staff have yet to comment on this story.